Gardai suspect paedophile ring linked to Michael Ferry

Gardai have begun an investigation into an organised child sex ring amid claims dozens of young boys were abused for more than a decade by school caretaker Michael Ferry and other paedophiles.

Officers in Donegal are now investigating claims against at least four other suspected paedophiles linked to Ferry.

Details of the garda inquiry emerged as Justice Minister Alan Shatter confirmed that gardai informed the then North Western Health Board of Ferry's first conviction and also expressed concerns to the school's owner.

Meanwhile The Diector of the school says Michael Ferry was not employed there as a caretaker.

Donal O'Loinsigh, who co-runs Ard Scoil Mhuire in Derrybeg, denied that paedophile Ferry worked full-time at the college.

O'Loinsigh said Ferry didn't have employers, because he wasn't employed.

But Mr O'Loinsigh, one of three directors of Colaiste Cholmcille, which runs Irish language summer courses at the former Ard Scoil Mhuire building, said Ferry was known locally as the caretaker, but was never contractually employed by the present authorities.

While he was previously paid on a casual basis to look after the upkeep of the building, Mr O Loinsigh says they took the school keys off him as soon as they learned of the charges against him in 2002.

But he admitted Ferry, from Bunbeg, Gweedore continued to do odd-jobs around the building, either paid for by the college authorities or sub-contracted by other workers hired in to maintain the school over the winter.